Friday, February 19, 2010

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day N-2

I've lost count...so I'm counting back from the end. Two more movies.

First up, CIGARETTE GIRL. In a near-future hellscape, smokers are restricted to the "smoking section" slums of all big cities. There, in the Vice(roy) club, works Cigarette Girl. She sells cigarettes, but is in trouble for a) selling cigarettes at a discount on the sly, thereby undercutting her boss Ace, b) stealing the company car to drive her ailing grandma (dying of emphysema) to the hospital, and c) not coming in to work or returning the car for three days because she was taking care of her grandma. So Ace sends Hatcheck Girl and Johnny Valet after her and hires a punk runaway to replace her. Cigarette Girl quits smoking, borrows her grandma's gun for protection, and goes on a bit of a rampage. Quitting is tough on everybody. Oh yeah, and she's haunted by her former lover Cowboy, the representative of her previous cigarette brand, in a pretty unsubtle depiction of the ghost of addiction. The film is mostly good, crazy fun, although some of the execution is a bit sub-par, even for an Indie film. The acting is pretty cheesy and the pacing is surprisingly slow for what should be a more balls-to-the-walls cult action flick.

By the way, director John Michael McCarthy is an oooold Indiefest alum. Like, his movies played at Indiefest before my time (pre-2002).

The next film was also by an Indiefest alum, Sean Garrity was here in 2003(?) With INerTia, which I did see..twice--in both Indiefest and Cinequest. Funny story of love, trust, infidelity, and water supply. And very different from his new film.

He's back with a much darker and much more independent (he introduced himself as "the entire crew") ZOOEY & ADAM. Zooey and Adam are trying to have a baby. So the try in bed, in the car, and on a camping trip by a lake outside of Winnipeg (their hometown). There, they are attacked and she is raped. The scene is not graphic, it's in the dark so you mostly see flashlights and hear screams. But soon after they find she's pregnant. And she doesn't want to know if it's Adam's or the rapist's. But she's keeping it either way. (By the way, this is apparently a source of some controversy, like keeping a baby conceived by rape is anti-feminist. According to Garrity, almost half of the women in her situation do keep it). Well, although she was far more violated in the attack, Adam is the one who can't let it go. He tries to get a DNA test. He looks into "his" son's face trying to see either his own face or the attacker's. When their son starts acting out in day care, he takes it as evidence that he was "born bad". And it really feels weird to say it, but she treats him really, really bad about it. She keeps him from seeing the results of the DNA test, she gives him no sympathy (understandable that she went through the greater trauma), and it all leads to a pretty dramatic and traumatic ending.

Total Running Time: 163 minutes
My Total Minutes: 171,771
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